Do you have a writing addiction yet? No? Get one!

Writing is really hard for most PhD students

That’s why many also hate writing. To be addicted doesn’t sound healthy of course, but do realize, addictions can be good or bad. An addiction to sports, to be outside, to do gardening, to listen to music isn’t that bad. Writing could be in the same category. Writing could satisfy an essential need and give pleasure.

Hey PhD student, are you addicted to writing yet?

Essential need

So which essential need do I mean? Listening to your inner stream of thoughts, express them and identify your thoughts and feelings. Writing could be a way of creating a safe haven for yourself; writing can help you to arrange your thoughts; maybe they are overwhelming and chaotic. Or writing could be a way to practice.

And what about the fun? A runner can explain it easily. Writing every day could give you the same feeling as running every day: warming up, running and cooling down. And then you can conclude: ‘I have done what I wanted to do; the rest of the day is up to me. Writing could give you the same feeling; you will be engaged with something meaningful. You will know more than before.

How do you become addicted?

We are always trying to avoid displeasure, so mostly we will try to evoke pleasure. This is the same with writing. Try to put your thoughts on paper, get a grip on your thoughts, translate what you have researched, you can do it all by writing, which is great fun!

Freewriting can help you to create an addiction. Freewriting is – simply put – writing without pause. This film explains it a bit more. My advice: start to write every day for 10 minutes. At some point, you can make that 15 minutes and slowly you can expand the time. And really, everybody can free-write for 10 minutes a day.

Don’t tell yourself that you have to write the whole day, which is lethal. However, you can create a writing addiction by writing 10 minutes every day! Most important: just do it, write every day for 10 minutes. Even if you don’t want to, even if you think you don’t have anything to write about. You can also use freewriting to clarify questions you have: ‘Do I really want to tackle this subject, what could be an interesting question, could I use this for my thesis?’

Hey PhD student, are you addicted to writing yet?

Free writing helps you to focus on your thoughts and feelings. If you would do this for quite some time, you will notice that your thoughts and feelings become clearer and that your subject will be more evident. I hope this will give you some fun. Writing is a great way to find out what you want to say. So, try to get this writing addiction sooner than later.


Hey PhD student, are you addicted to writing yet?


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